Moving to an expensive city is both exciting and worrisome, especially if you have a budget to meet.
The prospect of moving to a city that’s big and busy as you start a new job or career is something to look forward to. A new environment, new people, and new places to see await you, and so does a new lifestyle. Millennials may be especially excited about living in a place that they only read or heard about before, and now, there they are, ready to have a place of their own.
Probably you’re doing this for the first time with just enough budget to spare. If so, then you would need some piece of advice how you can stretch your funds while being able to enjoy living in a city more expensive than what you’re used to.
Get creative and practical in your apartment-hunting.
One of the most crucial steps in settling down to a new place is finding your own pad. This is where you start getting practical and creative. You may want to scout for a place that you can rent together with other people. Yes, find yourself a roommate with whom you can split your living expenses such as rent, utilities, the Internet, and the like.
Be open as well to getting a location outside the expensive blocks in town. These would cost you less than living at the heart of the city. When you do this, you have to be willing to commute to the city and factor in the cost of transportation. Don’t worry, as soon as you start earning and saving more, you can consider moving to a closer area or a bigger place. Therefore, don’t be in a hurry to put all your money in a fancy apartment at the start.
Purchase your stuff wisely.
Once you find an apartment, the next thing to do is to shop for your furniture and appliances. That is if the apartment is not furnished. You would want to find pieces that are affordable, durable, and ideally multi-functional. Beds with built-in bookcases or drawers are must-haves and so would be a center table that doubles as a container. How about a coffee-maker or a toaster? The point is, shop strategically and go bargain hunting. You merely need to be patient. However, all your canvassing can prove valuable when you can find the items you need at the most affordable price.
Build your lifestyle around what matters most to you.” – Stefanie O’Connell, author
Opt for warehouse stores.
Warehouse clubs abound in cities where you can find grocery items to fill your pantry. You can buy more than enough for yourself and split the cost with your roommates. Here, you can find fresh meat, vegetables, fruits, and other staples that you can prepare in your apartment and take with you to the office. Warehouse stores also sell other valuable and practical items like clothing, outdoor gear, electronics, and other stuff, making it a one-stop shop.
You can’t afford everything, but you can afford anything.” – Stefanie O’Connell, author
Keep track of your spending.
When you’re in a new city, it would be hard not to spend frequently, especially as you’re still adjusting to the location. And remember that you had to spend to fill up your apartment and dine at restaurants in your first few days or weeks. Whether you’ve spent significantly or not, you need to keep tabs on your expenses by putting them in a notebook or your mobile device. In this way, you would know if you’re spending too much and when it’s time to put a tight rein on your spending.
Maintain your lifestyle but keep expenses within your means.
Of course, you’d want to live comfortably and according to the lifestyle you want or are used to. You can still do this given the budget constraints. What you need to do is to continue with your routine and adapt it to the new environment and pace of living in a new city. If you used to buy a cup of frappuccino daily on your way to work, then you can still do this. Nevertheless, consider cutting back on the frequency to use the money you save for something more needed and basic.
Living in a new city should make you motivated and excited to start a new chapter in your career. The cost of living in the place may be steeper than what you’re expecting, but there are creative and practical ways to work around this concern.